tv This Week With George Stephanopoulos ABC September 30, 2012 8:00am-9:00am PDT
good morning, and welcome to "this week." face-off. >> we got to win in virginia. >> we will win ohio. >> hours away for that crucial first debate, candidates gain expectations. >> romney is a very good debater. he's practiced and practiced and practiced and practiced. >> the moderator and obama are going to come after him. >> romney is actually pretty good on his feet in debates. >> the big questions, can romney reset his campaign with a strong debate? or with early voting under way -- >> president obama. >> -- is it too late for a turnaround? >> four years from his last debate. >> you're wrong. >> will president obama be rusty? or, can he break the race wide
open? we'll ask our headliners. new jersey governor chris christie and the president's senior adviser david plouffe. and our powerhouse roundtable. squaring off, former party chairs haley barbour and howard dean. plus, matthew dowd, donna brazile and maggie haberman of politico. hello again. we're heading into the home stretch of this campaign. just 37 days before the final votes, with all eyes on this week's first debate. the candidates are hunkering down in debate camp. our guests are ready to weigh in on where the race stands. what to expect wednesday? white house adviser david plouffe standing by for the president. but let's begin with the romney camp, and the man who kicked off the republican convention last month, new jersey governor chris christie. good morning. >> good morning, george. >> since the convention, romney
has fallen behind in the battlegrounds. new polls out this morning, ohio and iowa, behind in both. governor romney has to shake things up wednesday night. doesn't he? >> he's going to, i mean, every time mitt romney has been confronted in this campaign with one of these moments, he has come through in the debate and performed extraordinarily well. laying out his vision very clearly, and contrasting himself and his vision to whoever the opponent was at that time. when we get to thursday morning, you'll be saying it's a brand-new race with 33 days to go. >> the more we see of governor romney the more voters are going to like him, that hasn't happened yet. on the one hand he has to be assertive with the president but likable with voters. how does that happen? >> be truthful. if you tell the truth about what's going on in our country, people are going to understand that's critical of the president's stewardship, but also to lay out a positive and
hopeful vision for what the future can be for our children and grandchildren under a romney administration. i think he can do both. romney can walk and chew gum at the same time. i'm not worried. >> how do you handicap president obama as a debater? >> listen, i love this stuff. oh, he hasn't debated in four years. poor president obama, he's only been the leader of free world and commander in chief of our military during that time. i think he's had a few debates within the white house over that time. the president has always been good. he'll be good on wednesday night. but he can't change the facts and that's going to be the problem for the president. >> there are two-minute ads straight to camera, here's portion of them. >> governor romney believes with even bigger tax cuts for the wealthy and fewer regulations on wall street all of us will prosper. in other words, he doubled down on the same trickle-down policies that led to the crisis in the first place. >> if you were on the stage wednesday night, how would you respond to that on wednesday? >> stop lying, mr. president. >> lying? what's the lie there?
>> governor romney is not talking about more tax cuts for the wealthy. what romney said the wealthy will pay just as much under the romney administration -- the tax rate will go down. they'll lose deductions and other loopholes that they'll have them paying the same. that's what governor romney's plan is. so, what i would say, i love that ad. the president gets to say, a million new manufacturing jobs? how? $4 trillion reduction in the debt, really, mr. president? really. how? he hasn't endorsed his own plan. he hasn't come forward with a plan. it's a great ad. i have no doubt about that. it sounds really nice and looks nice. but there's nothing substantive there. >> i can imagine the comeback from president obama at that point, where are the details, that same question could be put to governor romney, you said hard truths in the convention, but governor romney hasn't laid out which deductions will go away for the wealthy. >> listen, the president of the united states has an obligation
after four years of being president, to be the one who's the most specific. >> so the challenger doesn't have to? >> i didn't say that. he has the bigger obligation. that ad does nothing to add to the debate and discussion, except to not tell the truth. he starts off by not telling the truth. which is, the president says governor romney wants more tax cuts for the rich. which is not true. governor romney said it over and over and over again, the rich will not pay less. under his tax plan. >> but their tax rates will come down. >> george, you chakd the rates. if the same amount of money coming out of your pocket and my pocket, you don't care what the rate is. i think what we're trying to do is where america is more competitive on its race with the rest of the world. we're competing in a global economy, and so, that's what governor romney is laying out a very clear vision on that.
guess what he's going do, he's going negotiate with congress about those loopholes. that's what he's going to do. he's not going to lock himself into something now. >> don't voters have the right to know what those are? >> the voters have the right to know what direction he's going to take the country in. he's going to reduce so nobody is paying less in the wealthy class than before. here's what he's learned that the president has never learned, 85% of his legislation was democratic when he was governor in massachusetts. you can lay out aspirational goals and visions, you have to get down to negotiating to get things done. in washington, the president draws hard lines but he never knows how to negotiate and compromise. >> governor romney has been getting a lot of advice from some pretty anxious conservatives. one wants a bigger, bolder campaign. i want to read what he had to say. he said, go large mitt. for six months, he's been matching obama small for small
ball. a hit and run critique here, a slogan of the week there. his only momentum came when he chose paul ryan. yet, he has since retreated to the small and safe, when you're behind, however, safe is fatal. do we need a bolder campaign from romney? >> i think we need a big and bold performance on wednesday night. the fact is, the ideas are there, but let's face it, george, there's been a lot of filtering going on, what i will tell you, this is the first moment when the american people are going to be able to see these two guys side by side, laying out their vision, unfiltered. i think that's going to be a powerful moment for mitt romney. i think folks like charlie will be happy on thursday morning. >> you alluded to, do you buy this argument that some conservatives are making that polls are skewed against mitt romney? >> i don't buy it. i don't think it's intentional. do i think there's a concerted effort to skew the polls against
governor romney? no, i don't buy that. >> final question, todd akin running for senate in missouri. last year, reince priebus was here. saying the rnc isn't going to get involved in the race. over the course, more prominent republicans, all coming out in support of todd akin, do you think he should have the support of the republican party? >> no. >> he doesn't have your support? >> no. >> governor chris christie, thank you for your time. let's turn now to the white house view. the president's top strategist, david plouffe is running debate prep -- part of the debate prep for president obama, he joins us now. you just heard governor christie right there, he said that the president isn't going to tell the truth on wednesday night. >> well, of course, we are, george. first of all governor christie, and i think this clearly the romney belief, is raising expectations for this race. they're predicting that the race will change fundamentally.
what does that mean? states like ohio and iowa, become very close and tighten up. there will be a way to measure this. challengers tend to do well in debates. that's been the history. we believe that governor romney has more benefit out of this debate than we do. what we will tell the people, exactly where we are as a country, where we need to go, how we rebuild the economy to make the middle class secure, and with great detail so people understand, if this president gets re-elected what he's going to do for them the next four years. >> governor christie said that the wealthier are going to get a tax cut that is a lie from president obama. >> strong words, but not true. listen, analysts have looked at this. someone who makes over $3 million a year, would get over a quarter million tax cut if governor romney's plan was enacted. $2 trillion in defense spending that our pentagon and military leadership say we don't know.
another trillion dollars to extend all of the bush tax cuts. that's $8 trillion. the notion that somehow by wealthy they're, the middle class is going to be held harmless. the middle class has to understand, if romney wins this presidential election, they'll be paying the bill not to reduce the deficit, not to reduce jobs, to give huge tax cuts to the wealthy. >> the idea of the president is not going to tell the truth, has become the theme inside the romney camp. here's what governor romney said. >> you learned and studied all this about president obama as a debater, what are you looking? >> i think he's going to say a lot of things that aren't accurate. you know, i would be tempted to go back to that wonderful line by ronald reagan, there you go again. >> he's admitted that your campaign has gone overboard at times with the rhetoric, are you worried that president obama is going to have a rough night with the fact-checkers wednesday
night? >> absolutely not. we still believe that this is going to be a close race. but the reason, you know, governor romney is having a rough patch here is not because what we're saying about his plans, it's his plans. all right, you ought to start by looking in the mirror. people don't want to go back to the same trickle-down policies that caused the recession in the first place. obviously, he said things around the attacks in egypt and libya. also, this 47% comment, you know, i think the message that he sends to american people, if he has written off half the country, they're not his concern, so, we're happy to have a debate about our economic plans, our tax plans, where we want to take the country in terms of health care and education. by the way, it's rich. george, you covered this race very carefully. governor romney, during the primary, vice -- vision rated
his opponents, when his opponents complained, he stopped whining. he questioned the president on, making us a less christian nation. give me a break. you know, presidential campaigns are tough, but we're saying the truth about what governor romney wants to do. but that may be inconvenient. but, we're very confident with the case we're going to make proactively about the president. and how that contrasts with governor romney. >> the governor has shown that he can be tough in these debates as you pointed out. we're seeing some reports that he's preparing some zingers to get under the president's skin. how worried are you about that? >> i think the president views this as part of the entire campaign. you know, our convention, the events that we do in battleground states. the ads we're running. now, the debates. it's a chance to have a conversation with the american people about where we are as a country. now, governor romney clearly, that i have been practicing these zingers and lines for months. so, i'm sure they'll have a bunch of clever lines.
but, that's ultimately not what the american people are looking for, there may be some may judge those to be some ranked well, but the american people are going to be listening not for a clever line but a good idea to help move this country forward. that's our focus. listen, he's prepared more than any candidate. in history. we believe that governor romney, he has been a good debater in the past, he's very prepared. so, we understand he'll probably have a good night on wednesday night. >> you mentioned governor romney's response to the attacks on the consulate in benghazi. the president and his team have come under questions for that as well. the stories about what exactly happened that day. you and ambassador susan rice, on this program, after the attack, said it was a spontaneous response to an anti-muslim film. since then, we have learned that it was on organized attack and that some intelligence and pentagon officials suspected that early on and that's prompted this criticism from governor romney. >> we've seen a confused, slow,
and inconsisten t response to the terrorist attack in libya. a refusal to be frank with the american people about what happened. and a complete failure to explain the growing terrorist threat we face in the region. >> the chairman of the homeland security committee peter king has gone even further calling on u.s. ambassador to resign, your response. >> absolutely not. susan rice has done a terrific job. george, there's been an ongoing investigation. an event to great interest to the news media, understandably. so, there's been information provided real-time. you'll know more about an event a week after it happens. >> there were officials in 24 hours after it happened that suspected it was a terrorist attack. >> what ambassador rice and others were doing were going on what our intelligence we were receiving. once they were convinced of an act of terrorism, that's where we are. let's talk about governor romney for a moment, you know, we're
happy to have a debate about our approach to terrorism and foreign policy. the president promised that he'll end the iraq war, he did. he would take the fight to al qaeda and he has. he would focus on osama bin laden and bring him to justice, we did. governor romney called ending the iraq war tragic. he said on that secret tape, with that 47% comment, that it was unthinkable that we didn't leave 20,000 troops behind. he said famously in 2008, he wouldn't have gone into pakistan to get bin laden. we'll have a foreign policy debate later in this election. these are important issues. not just from a foreign policy standpoint, one of the reasons that we have huge deficits is that we have these unpaid wars. the voters also view these foreign issues through a prism of the economy. >> david plouffe, thank you very much. we'll be right back with our powerhouse roundtable in just 60 seconds. it's something you're born with. and inspires the things you choose to do.
quick change there. george will is off today. but we're joined by donna brazile on the roundtable. matthew dowd. maggie haberman of politico. two former party chairman. former vermont governor, howard dean for the democrats. and former governor haley barbour for the republicans. matthew dowd, let me begin with you, and setting the stage where the race is right now, we see president obama ahead by about five points nationally, right now, ahead in all of the battleground states, what happened in september? >> i think, this race, if it's a five-point race, which it roughly is, is when you look at this, the national number is 5 or 6. all of the target states are going to be somewhere around that national number. all of those states will flow with that. what i think that romney -- what happened to romney campaign, i think political malpractice.
for the summer and a big part of the convention time, they left the playing field to the entire obama campaign. they allowed them to outspend them in the summer. they allowed them during the conventions to outspend them. and basically set the tone for the final 60 days of this campaign. which puts them behind after the convention. i don't think the romney folks expected to be behind and now they're behind in the prism of which voters view this is negative for mitt romney. >> governor barbour, i want to put up a chart right now. it comes from the "new york times" after that 47% comment right here, you see it right there, look at how it opens up in that last week and a half, that was damaging? >> well, it may well end being damaging. the biggest thing that's damaging mitt romney, this campaign is all about process, it's about polling, campaign management. it's about everything but the issues. it's about everything but obama policies. and the failures of those policies. >> how does that turn that around?
>> stay totally focused on the fact for most americans, you can't tell the difference between the recession and the recovery. in fact, since this department data came out this last month, the average american family lost $2,500 of income during the obama recovery. they only lost $1,500 worth of income during the recession. no wonder they don't think that the recession is over. >> donna, that's kind of astonishing. the national journal put it as president obama defying gravity. income is going down. yet the president is leading by 5 points. >> i was looking at some of the recent polls, 42% of the country believe that the country is in better shape. they believe that the next year will be better. despite the doom and gloom, the cold towel and the wet water that the republicans continue to throw over the slow economic recovery, most americans are feeling a little bit better. it's not good enough to go home and write out the next check for the obama campaign.
but it's good enough for the obama campaign to believe that they have a slight wind at their backs. >> and one thing that's working for them, maggie, it does seem that voters have accepted kind of a mediocre economy? >> yeah, that's right. there's this new normal feeling. in that paradigm, the president is doing better. so, people feel their lives aren't great, mitt romney isn't offering an alternative. and i think that's the problem. >> maggie haberman mentioned this right track/wrong track, you have seen coming into this year, some thought we were going in the wrong direction, now it's coming down below 60% in some polls, it leads to a question, do people really think things are getting better or adjusting their views to conform with their votes? >> i disagree with maggie. i don't think this is the new normal at all. if you look at barack obama's accomplishments they're pretty
compelling. he took over when this economy was in free-fall. mitt romney's argument is, we should go back to the same policies we had before. obama gets credit for having delivered, stopping the bleeding and starting to get better. revising of the new jobs created. we're doing better. the american people know it. but the real reason that mitt romney probably isn't going to win this election, no matter how well he does is, when you ask the question, does this candidate care about people like me? fwl's a 40-point gap. mitt romney can't connect. >> let me ask governor barbour about that right now, that's one of the stubborn facts in the polling of this election, so far, romney's personal favorability hasn't moved that much. >> another reason why this election doesn't need to be a
popularity contest. this is about what are we going to do about the future of the country? i don't think ronald reagan won because he was a happier person. ronald reagan won because the country was in bad shape. he offered policies to get us out of that and they worked. you compare the recovery under obama, this year the economy's improved 1.6%. last year, 1.8%. the year before, 2.4%. that's the best he's done. after the recession, when reagan was president, the first year 4.5% economic growth. the second year, 7.5% economic growth. the idea that we can't have a growing economy is something that is something that's not being talked about enough, anywhere except for the dining room table. >> the interesting thing about the race the national equilibrium is about two-point race. and if mitt romney has a good four or five days,
this race will dwindled down to a two-point race. at that point in time, that's when the environmental factors, all begin to take place in this. but the biggest change that has happened in this, mitt romney wanted this to be a referendum election. the problem is it became a referendum, not on barack obama it became a referendum on him. at some point, he has to fix that really quick. >> and i think the time is running out. you get three chances. of course, his vp pick hasn't turned out to be so good. we'll get more into that. the convention speech. everyone knows that wasn't a speech that really gave us a better idea about mitt romney and the third opportunity has become the debates. i want to say something about the 1980s, the republicans constantly go back to the 1980s like that's some guide post for the future. this is a different recession. therefore it's going to take us much longer and much slower. the republicans haven't offered
the country anything in terms of where they want to take the country, in terms of growing the economy. >> you know, we got to take a quick break. we'll talk about the debates in just a little bit. everyone will handicap those debates. a look ahead on israeli prime minister's pre-october surprise that came this week. isn't anybody going to give us the red meat rhetoric that we come to expect from the united nations. >> this is a bomb. [ laughter ] >> that's what i'm talking about. >> in the case of iran's nuclear plans to build a bomb, a red line should be drawn right here. >> i just got to say this, bibi, what's with the wily coyote nuclear bomb? with the whily coyote nuclear bomb? ily coyote
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♪ i will not make age an issue of this campaign. i'm not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent's youth and inexperience. >> if kitty dukakis were raped and murdered would you favor a inrevocable death penalty for the killer? >> no, i don't, bernard. i opposed the death penalty during all of my life. >> i have had as much experience in congress as jack kennedy when he sought the presidency. >> senator, i served with jack kennedy. i knew jack kennedy. jack kennedy was a friend of mine. senator, you're no jack kennedy. >> big moments in debates past. let's talk about debates future. with our roundtable right now and maggie haberman, of
politico, let me begin with you, how much the debates really matter. you see the moments that come out of them. how much difference? >> they can make a huge difference, especially for mitt romney. this is last chance to change the arc of this campaign. the risk for romney not doing well wednesday night will not tune in for later debates. i think there's not a lot of enthusiasm on either side, frankly. if romney doesn't do something to make himself seem serious and a hope for obama mistake there's very diminishing returns. >> governor romney has to shake things up on wednesday? >> well, governmor romney has to get this debate focused on policies. obama's policies and the failures of those policies. and his alternatives and why they would do better. there's been virtually no talk about that in this campaign. if this campaign turned to that, that's hugely to romney's advantage and that's what he needs to focus on. >> to make that work, does he have to give out more
details wednesday night? >> it's interesting to me to hear you guys talk about details. i didn't any of that in 2008. what barack obama said my plan will lower the health insurance for the average american by 25000. kaiser announced last week, since obama care was adopted. family insurance premiums have gone up $3,000. but nobody asked, well, now, senator obama, how are you going to do that? it's not normal. it's not normal. >> i think all of us are talking about that mitt romney needs to shake up this race and change the dynamic. the poll numbers show that's the case. as i said previously, it's likely to change anyway even with a modest debate performance. because this race is a two-point race. i don't think we can take away the pressure that's on the president in this debate. because i remember full well in 2004, george w. bush was 6, 7 points ahead of john kerry. he didn't prepare well. he came across as slightly impatient. he's the president of the united states, why am i debating this
guy? and that race went from a six-point race to a one-point race in 48 hours. i think barack obama has to be careful. that he doesn't come across irritable or impatient. >> or running out the clock. >> perform well from a mannerism standpoint. if he doesn't, this race goes a one-point race. we're all sitting around, what happened. >> donna brazile, matt dowd brings up the mannerisms. you were in the al gore camp, everyone thought that he cleaned george bush's clock, in that debate, but on mannerisms he ended up losing. >> george, many of us remember the split screen. al gore was sitting there, rolling his eyes, looking at george bush and basically, he started to sigh. >> did president obama have that vulnerability. >> look, i think governor romney speaks in perfect sound bites. i attended many of those
republican debates. one thing that he's very good at is turning a negative question, a question directed to him into a positive question. making it a negative question on his opponent. he's a very skillful debater. he's been in dress rehearsal for five years. so, i suspect that governor mitt romney is going to come well prepared to put the president obama on defense. he'll try to make this about president obama and what the president will have to do early on is jump-start and make sure that governor romney never gets the ball back. >> other things working in governor romney's favor, challenger almost always do well in first debate. >> he really is prepared and he does speak in sound bites and he's very good at this. he's well prepared and he'll do well. the key to a debate, if you want to see how it moves the american people is to turn off the sound,
watch the mannerisms, it's not what they say, there may be a zinger and that could change things, but it's not what they say it's their mannerisms. the president has to avoid being irritable. he us just got to roll with the punches. mitt is going to be out there and aggressive as all get-out. governor romney will try to put him off-balance. he has to relax, he has to show a little sense of humor, show why he's likable. that's all nonverbal cues. >> maggie, doesn't mitt romney also, in this debate -- he needs to have a moment that dominates news coverage in the days coming out? because that's how most people are going to get their information from this debate. >> yes, absolutely. to governor dean's point, i agree there's a concern for the president in not looking like mitt romney is getting to him.
>> let's show some of that. we have a little montage of the best and worst moments of each candidate in their debates. >> i tell you what, 10,000 bucks. $10,000 bet? >> i'm not in the betting business. >> he's very likable. i agree with that. i don't think i'm that bad. >> you're likable enough, hillary. >> thank you. >> the idea that i'm anti-immigrant is repulsive. >> the war started you said it that it was going to be quick and easy. you said we knew where the weapons of mass destruction were. you were wrong. >> each candidate are much better when they're on offense. but, one of this things we're seeing telegraphed by the romney camp is this idea that the governor may call obama out by not telling the truth.
is that a wise strategy? >> the campaign isn't about truths. obama has a huge advantage. the facts of what's happening in america, chris christie was on here earlier, the facts of what's happening in america, the reduction of the america standing in the world, the reduction of middle class prosperity in the world. the idea that health care costs are going up, health care premiums are going up. the federal reserve board, for the first time in its 100-history, said that the economy is so bad, obama's policies are so bad, that they'll have the job creation, unprecedented job creation program. nobody said, what does that mean? the own federal reserve board has given up on his program. >> in the course of these debate if truth is on trial, if you look at all of the ads that have been run and said, both sides have a real incapacity to tell the truth to americans. both sides are unwilling to say we'll have to do a share of
sacrifice. we'll have to basically, we'll -- taxes have to be included and expenditures have to be included. romney puts paul ryan on the ticket. they're going to have a big conversation about entitlements, we have that for 48 hours. >> let me stop you there, truth is going to be on trial, won't that have to be up to the candidates? i don't belive the moderators will be fact-checkers in this debate. >> that's part of the problem in the environment that we're in. as we saw in the middle east and libya, everyone views the truth through their own prism and doesn't accept reality if it disagrees where they are. i don't think the moderator is going to do that. i think both sides are going to accuse the other side of not sharing the facts. they're both going to do that. at some point, they have to be called on it. they have to tell the truth to the american public.
>> who makes that decision is the voters. i think voters are going to start penalizing people who don't cooperate. to throw in a little partisan barb, republicans wouldn't pass the president's jobs bill. this isn't about obama's record. this is about what's going on in washington. people are sick of it. the question is, who do you trust more to end that? and i think the odds are now with obama because people see obama as having tried at least to work the other side. i think we'll get to a better place. i think it's going to be after the election. when the voters start penalizing people for being obstructionists. >> and this is the difficulty, always with governor romney is that, he wants to come across as someone who can work with the other side and, of course, during the republican primary, he was the hard liner, he was the severe conservative, i suspect on wednesday night, romney will be go back to the moderate governor of massachusetts, to show people that he cares about them.
of course, he'll talk about, you know, he worked with ted kennedy. this is a governor who is going to try to move the ball a little bit back to the center. >> let me ask governor barbour about that, do you think romney should have moved quickly to that place in the middle and why didn't he? >> i can't answer your question, romney just needs to be romney. that's what he needs to do. he needs to come forward with the policy. matt said something that's very important. the idea that this is going to be a campaign of big issues, would help romney if they would just stuck to it. start with it, stick to it. i thought that picking ryan was a very bright thing to do, because there hadn't been a campaign since 1980 that they democrats didn't have a mediscare campaign. that the republicans were against medicare. let's talk to the people about medicare. they'll understand. >> i think their biggest mistake the romney camp have made, they
have gone small ball. it fed right into the obama camp on this. if they raised it up and let has a debate about the philosopy of government, here's our philosophy, here's his philosophy, this is the difference, you make the choice. >> what you're seeing is a reflection of the candidate and that's the problem with romney. >> you both raised two questions that i want to get to, you talked to small ball, and the weekly standard this week came out with a flyer that the romney campaign is sending out in northern virginia that i want to put up on the screen right now, it's a flyer about how the romney campaign is going to do a better job of making sure people who have lyme disease get better treatment. this is is this something that we were all talking about before we came on. >> very surprising to me. not surprising in the context of the fact that this campaign has trouble sticking to a singular narrative and driving it. surprising mostly because this isn't a thing that people are screaming about in the election,
we're not hearing a lot about lyme disease. it seems like it was from someone who was on the romney camp at some point in virginia. you're seeing the tactics. they're very visible from the romney campaign. part of it is, they do a message reset and they're not doing it. >> you know, having been one of the people, the creator of microtargeting of campaigns in 2004, there's been a total misread of what that is. there's this idea, you do all of this slicing and dicing and then find out some weird issue, like lyme disease, or some other issue, you go to straight to those people and you do that. what microtargeting, the best target is you find individuals that you otherwise couldn't have found in areas that you wouldn't campaign in, go to those people with big issues. so, you find the individuals -- >> not the small issues? >> not the small issues.
you find the individual. then take the big issue. lyme disease is a city council race. people in presidential races want conversations about big stuff on big things. microtargeting works, if you find the person and deliver the big message. >> if you're not running a big campaign, if you're slicing the electorate into these small microunits, you're not really reaching the audience. when people get on the bus they're talking about you. this type of campaign that mitt romney is running it's just a very localized campaign. you don't hear anything big. i was down in southwest west virginia, i'm about to talk about coal, no, they're not talking about that, they want to talk about the economy and jobs. but mitt romney hasn't in an area that's very hospital to believe the romney campaign, they're not talking about local issues. >> let's pick up on the point that governor barbour made, one of the biggest moves that he made was picking ryan this week.
this medicare debate has backfired. i want to show you the polling from the washington post this week, looking at the battleground states of ohio, 19 points on medicare. 13 points in virginia. governor dean, the medicare campaign seems to be working. >> it is. i talked to a republican from florida the other day who's in a position to know this stuff, he says that they're getting crushed on medicare in florida. that's because paul ryan gave us the opening for that. because he actually is on record essentially saying we're going to voucherize medicare. that's a fact. you know, whether it's for 55 years old or 65 years old gets lost in the argument. it really transformed the race in florida. it's unbelievable. >> the fact of the matter is, if you can pick paul ryan and you're going to make medicare an
issue, then you got to stick with it. the more information that the american people have about medicare, the more they understand the republicans are right. the president himself said in 2009, medicare and medicaid are unsustainable as they are now. the actuaries for medicare say it's unsustainable. you got to do something. the question is, what? obama's answer is, we're not going to talk about that until after the election. ryan who's been very open, we're going to give you medicare that's like the health insurance congressmen get. >> but nobody believes it, though. >> i totally agree with the governor on this, when you do this kind of thing you have to double-down on it. you can't just throw it out there. if you have to say basically say, this is may be unpopular, we may not be able to sustain it --
>> the other problem with this. this is the problem -- this is one of basic rules, which you'll recognize, campaigns aren't for education, they're for winning. you do the education after. if you run a campaign on educating people, i guarantee 9 times out of 10, you lose the campaign. you may issue later on. but you lose the campaign. that's exactly what happening here. >> if you tell them this is campaign about educating people and you don't do that, i think that's a losing proposition. bob dole never got 43% in any poll and it was primarily because of what we called the mediscae campaign, it's coming. the republicans made the choice, we're going to take it like a man and get our head beat it or try to fight back. >> in 2010, you guys ran that campaign against democrats and i think you were successful and that's why you took back the house. look,
if you unleashed the ryan plan on the american people right now. i want to turn to foreign policy before we go. we saw a big moment at the u.n. general assembly. benjamin netanyahu went before the general assembly talking about iran's nuclear capability. at some point, he draws the red line for that cartoon. he also had a new assessment of when iran would reach the moment where they would have a nuclear capability. >> by next spring, at most by next summer, at current enrichment rates, they would have finished the medium enrichments and move on to the final stage. >> matthew dowd, in some ways i thought that this was the biggest political news of the week. we talked about the x factors that could affect the campaign in the final weeks. what you say from the iz rsrael
prime minister, he's saying there, basically there's not going to be a military attack between now and the election. >> traditionally september of campaigns are the month of mistakes. which we saw this year, which happened with the 47% video. october, month of debates. what changes elections fundamentally are the unknowns. those things that we have no idea are out there. i think actually, benjamin netanyahu, i think over the last 48 hours has begun to pull back, maybe i should leave the presidential race up to the two the candidates in the presidential race. we have 38 days left. something is going to happen in the course of this race that's going to focus on these two men as leaders. >> does that mean, perhaps, governor barbour, mitt romney should turn this race to foreign policy? >> no. i think the american people are
focused on the lack of jobs, the loss of income, the poor prospects. they are concerned that america's lost standing in the world. they're concerned about how backwards the middle east has gone in the last year. but they're much more concerned about their children having jobs. about them being able to pay for their health insurance and gasoline. they're much more concerned about that than they are about foreign policy and that's why, you know, romney has got to continue to put the spotlight back on the results of romney's -- obama's policies, which will very poor, and what he would do differently that would be more promising. >> i would agree with the first thing, that he shouldn't focus on foreign policy, and the last point, that he got to put his focus on domestic. first of all. second of all, the arab springs have mostly been successful.
it turned out that the libyan people rebelled against the people that attacked our embassy. we have an elected president that may or may not be our pal in egypt. in tunisia we're doing the same thing. this president has improved our standing remarkably in the world. because he's actually listened to other people for the first time. >> as matt dowd talked about, this year could be different in a couple of ways, number one, this is the most partisan locked-in electorate that's with have ever seen. very few undecides. right now. secondly with more early voting this year than ever before, by the time candidates get to to the third debate, you could have one-third already voting. >> this is a real concern for governor romney. some of the dips that you're seeing in the polls potentially in the last week have been related to that. from internal tracking that i'm hearing from both sides, there was a decrease for governor romney after that. that's a big concern.
i think that will be some intervening event. >> governor barbour 30 seconds left, you get the last word. how does mitt romney peel away voters who right now that say they're going to vote for obama? >> he has to get them back focused on obama's policies, the failures of obama's policies and offer them what he would do and why that would be better for their families, their communities and our country. pretty simple. it's not rocket science. >> we'll be watching wednesday night. thank you for a terrific roundtables. for those at home, governor barbour and dean will answer your questions on twitter. and now -- three moments from this week in history. what year was it? >> so help me god. >> so help me god. >> a new swing vote on the supreme court. >> judge and now justice kennedy. sounds good, doesn't it? it appears that pan-american
flight 103 was bombed. terrorism. >> 270 killed over lockerbie, scotland. and -- the opening night for broadway's longest running show. >> it's far more than an old-fashioned broadway musical. it's very thetheoratical. >> was it 1986, 1987 or 1988? we'll be right back with the answer. so what year was it? and every day since, we've worked hard to keep it. bp has paid over twenty-three billion dollars to help people and businesses who were affected, and to cover cleanup costs. today, the beaches and gulf are open for everyone to enjoy -- and many areas are reporting their best tourism seasons in years. we've shared what we've learned with governments and across the industry so we can all produce energy more safely. i want you to know, there's another commitment bp takes
just as seriously: our commitment to america. bp supports nearly two-hundred-fifty thousand jobs in communities across the country. we hired three thousand people just last year. bp invests more in america than in any other country. in fact, over the last five years, no other energy company has invested more in the us than bp. we're working to fuel america for generations to come. today, our commitment to the gulf, and to america, has never been stronger.
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so, what year was it? when did justice kennedy and "phantom of the opera debut? 24 years ago, 1988. and now, we honor our fellow americans who serve and sacrifice, as we learned overnight of a sad milestone, the 2,000th death of an american service member in afghanistan, our country's longest war. this week, the pentagon released the names of three service members killed in afghanistan. and finally, your voice this week. today's question comes from christy johnson. how do you book guests, keep them from fighting before the shows begin, decide timing and content? >> we look for well informed insightful analysts. people will strong opinions who aren't afraid to mix it up. as you can see from this green room surveillance camera, everyone gets along just fine before the
red light comes on. by the end of the roundtable, i hope everyone watching has a good handle of what happened in politics that week and what to look for in the week ahead. just a reminder, you can ask me questions all week long on twitter and facebook. that's all for us today. thank you for sharing part of your sunday tonight. check out "world news" with david muir tonight. and tune in wednesday for special coverage of one-on-one the candidates debate. at 9:00 eastern. i'll see you tomorrow on "good morning america." ♪ [ male announcer ] how do you turn an entrepreneur's dream...
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